Peel and finely dice the onion.
Pick and chop the herbs.
Juice the lemon.
Wash and drain the rice.
Add 1/3 of the olive oil to a saucepan and heat gently.
Add the diced onion and cook for around 10 min or until soft and translucent.
Add the rice and stir well.
Add the water and half the lemon juice, then bring to a boil place a lid over the rice and turn down to a simmer for 7 minutes or until the water is absorbed.
Place the rice in a tray, season with salt and peeper and fold through the chopped herbs. Allow to cool before stuffing the vine leaves.
If using fresh vine leaves- these need to be blanched in boiling water for 3 min then refreshed in iced water immediately.
If using vine leaves from a jar, you will need to simply rinse them under cold water prior to stuffing them.
Pour the rest of the olive oil and lemon juice over the vine leaves and season with salt and pepper.
Place an inverted plate on top to hold them down when cooking and pour in enough water just to cover them. Place the lid on and simmer the dolmades for about 30-40 minutes, until the water has been absorbed.
Remove the lid and plate and allow the stuffed leaves to cool for at least 30 min before serving.
Place one vine leaf, shiny side down, on your chopping board.
Put 1 tsp of the filling at the stem end. Be careful not to overfill the dolmades, as the rice will expand during cooking.
Fold the lower section of the leaf over the filling towards the middle, bring the two sides in towards the middle and roll them up tightly.
Place the stuffed vine leaves (fold side down) on the bottom of the pot and top in tight layers. Be careful not to leave any gaps between the dolmades to prevent them from cracking open when cooking.
«These should be made in advance since they are delicious cold.»